NYPA Provides New
York State With Improved Power Reliability and Lower Utility Bills
January 17, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHITE PLAINSThe New York Power
Authority (NYPA) made major strides in 2001its 70th
anniversarytoward strengthening New York States energy stability by adding new
clean generating capacity downstate and innovative transmission-control equipment for
delivering more electricity; continued allocation programs that have linked its lower cost
electricity to some 420,000 jobs statewide, and energy efficiency measures that save
public facilities millions of dollars a year; and took a key step in the relicensing of
its St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt hydroelectric project in Massena.
Those and other energy-related measures, under the direction of Gov. George E. Pataki,
made significant contributions to the states overall economy and environment, as
NYPA responded to the changing needs of the state.
Immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, several small natural
gas-fueled turbine generators that NYPA had only recently installed in New York City were
called on to generate power. The units were among 10 identical generators that NYPA had
put into service by the summer, and their dispersal in four of the citys five
boroughs was considered an asset following the attacks on the Twin Towers. Completed in
just 10 months, the new generators, plus another one on Long Island, added more than
440,000 (kw) of additional capacity. They were crucial in helping the city and the Island
meet their peak electricity requirements on successive days in August, as blistering
temperatures and humidity set new statewide demand records.
A Peak Load Management program sponsored by NYPA also helped by reducing New York City
power usage on those days by up to 50,000 kwan amount equivalent to a small power
In December, NYPA announced details of an ambitious program to offset emissions from
other sources in those communities where the new turbine generators are located. The gas
units are already equipped with advanced pollution-control and noise-abatement equipment
costing more than $55 million. The $23 million offset program ensures there will be no
overall increase of emissions, and air quality is expected to improve.
Pollution control systems on 1,000 school buses, and eight non-polluting fuel cells at
New York City wastewater treatment plants are among the cornerstones of the emission
offset program. (The plants will harness the gas byproduct of the wastewater treatment
process to produce electricity, as is currently done by a NYPA-installed fuel cell at the
Westchester County Wastewater Treatment Plant in Yonkers.)
The first benefits of the Power Authoritys installation at its Marcy Substation
near Utica of a $48 million dollar device known as the Convertible Static Compensator
(CSC) occurred in the spring of 2001. Completion of the first phase of the project enabled
NYPA to increase power flows by approximately 60,000 kw on a heavily congested
transmission corridor between Utica and Albany. (One thousand kilowatts1
megawattis the typical amount of electricity used at a given time by approximately
The second and final phase of the CSCco-funded by the Electric Power Research
Institute and other utilities around the countryis expected to be completed this
year, allowing power to be routed away from heavily loaded lines to underutilized lines.
Various power allocation programs administered by the Power Authority continued to be
instrumental in creating and protecting jobs around the state. By the end of 2001, nearly
420,000 jobs were linked to the lower cost power from these programs, including Governor
Patakis Power for Jobs program.
First introduced in late 1997 as a bridge to competition in the states electric
power industry, the Governors program is now linked to more than 300,000 jobs at
some 700 businesses and not-for-profit organizations. That far exceeds the initial
projection of 40,000 jobs when the Governor signed the Power for Jobs legislation making
400,000 kw available during the programs first three years.
Subsequent legislation in 2000 provided for additional power under the program, with
all of the available amounts fully allocated by NYPA in 2001.
The Power Authoritys expenditures on energy efficiency measures for schools,
hospitals, government buildings and other public facilities in 2001 exceeded $100 million,
more than 2-1/2 times the total for 1994, the last year before Governor Pataki took
office. Those effortspart of NYPAs Energy Services programincluded
installation of high-efficiency lighting and new heating, ventilating and air-conditioning
systems. Other program elements featured new energy-efficient refrigerators for New York
City public housing residents and replacement of polluting coal-fired boilers with clean
oil and gas furnaces at schools in New York City, Buffalo and on Long Island.
At years end, the improvements under the Energy Services program were saving
public facilities more than $74 million a year in electricity and fuel costs, lessening
the burden on taxpayers, while providing additional funding for their essential services.
The resulting reduction in electricity use from the various energy efficiency measures
helped avoid some 511,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions during the year.
In October, the Power Authority submitted its application to the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission (FERC) for relicensing the St. Lawrence-FDR Project, whose current
operating license expires in 2003. The application followed agreement on a relicensing
plan stemming from a cooperative consultation process with Northern New York community
leaders. It included the return of nearly 1,500 acres of surplus project land to the tax
rolls, a community enhancement fund to give localities and school districts at least $115
million, and improvements to recreational facilities. FERCs approval of NYPAs
application would provide a new 50-year operating license for the 900,000-kw hydroelectric
project, which first produced power in 1958.
First steps toward the relicensing of NYPAs Niagara Project in Lewiston also took
place in 2001, with the Power Authority choosing an inclusive process similar to the one
in Northern New York. The license for the 2,400,000 kw hydro project expires in 2007.
The Power Authority proceeded with a multi-year Life Extension and Modernization
program at St. Lawrence-FDR in which the projects 16 turbine generators will be
replaced by more efficient units. The first of the new turbine generators is expected to
be in operation by early spring under a schedule providing for three new installations
every two years to minimize any power production losses.
A similar upgrade program remained in full swing at the Niagara Project, with 8 of 13
turbine generators now replaced. The remaining work is scheduled to be completed by 2006.
In other initiatives and developments involving the Power Authority in 2001:
Governor Pataki signed legislation directing NYPA to provide up to 80,000 kilowatts
of lower cost electricity to businesses displaced by the attacks on the World Trade
Center. Companies relocating to new downtown Manhattan locations are eligible.
Governor Pataki nominated NYPA Chairman Joseph J. Seymour as executive director of
the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in December to succeed Neil Levin, who lost
his life in the World Trade Center disaster. Seymour stepped down as Power Authority
chairman in January.
NYPA joined forces with the Ford Motor Co. and other state and federal agencies to
launch the nations largest electric vehicle (EV) station-car demonstration program
for railroad commuters in the New York City Metropolitan area. Some 100 commuters will
lease Fords new Th!nk City EVa two passenger vehicle with a driving range of
about 50 miles between battery rechargingto get to their commuter train stations.
Two administrative law judges for the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment recommended approval of NYPAs application to build a
500,000-kilowatt natural gas-fueled plant in Queens.
The Power Authority commenced an excavation and construction project to prevent any
potential erosion of Brown Mountain in Schoharie County where the Power Authority rotates
water between an upper and lower reservoir to generate power at its Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped
Storage Project. The stabilization work is expected to be completed by this spring.
The Power Authority agreed to sell $191 million in bonds toward completion of debt